Media Release | Apr. 18, 2013

$25M grant brings African students to UBC

More than 110 students from Africa will receive comprehensive scholarships to live and learn at the University of British Columbia thanks to a $25 million grant from The MasterCard Foundation announced today.

UBC is among the first Canadian universities to join The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and one of only 15 institutions in the world participating in the $500 million global education initiative. The Program offers secondary and university education to academically talented students who come from economically disadvantaged communities in Africa so they can lead change in their communities when they return home.

The MasterCard Foundation grant is the largest contribution to student support of UBC’s start an evolution* campaign, the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian university history.

A video about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC is available at http://youtu.be/lQl8eLzp2HU. Members of the media can download a copy of the video from Dropbox.

“This transformative grant will help support a new generation of African leaders and will enhance UBC and Canada’s connections with Africa for the future,” says UBC President Stephen Toope. “The UBC community will be enriched by these students’ talent, experience and insights.”

UBC will support The MasterCard Foundation Scholars throughout their education, helping ease the transition to a post-secondary institution in Canada and ensuring they have access to mentorship and academic and social supports.

“The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will develop next-generation leaders who will have a transformational impact in developing countries,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “McGill University, University of British Columbia, and University of Toronto bring tremendous expertise to our vision. The diversity and excellence of their institutions will offer Scholars an extraordinary opportunity for learning and exchange of knowledge.”

The first cohort of Scholars will arrive at UBC this fall. Over the next 10 years, UBC expects to welcome 77 undergraduate and 35 master’s degree students through the Program.

For more information about UBC’s involvement with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, visit: http://internationalscholars.ubc.ca/mastercardfoundation/

*UBC’s start an evolution campaign is the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history with a twin goal of raising $1.5 billion and involving 50,000 alumni annually in the life of the university by 2015. For more information, visit startanevolution.ubc.ca.

BACKGROUND

About The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program offers secondary and university education to academically talented students who come from economically disadvantaged communities in Africa. Students receive a comprehensive set of supports throughout their education – education relevant to growth sectors in Africa, mentoring, opportunities for community service, and internships and jobs through a network of employers in Africa – so they can successfully transition into the workforce and lead change in their communities when they return home. To learn more about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, visit www.mastercardfdnscholars.org.

For further information about The MasterCard Foundation and the Program, please contact:

Toni Tiemens, The MasterCard Foundation, +1-647-837-5787
ttiemens@mastercardfdn.org

Jessica Howe, beSPEAK Communications, +1-416-844-3903
jhowe@bespeakcommunications.com

Editors Note: Upcoming Event

Roundtable Discussion: On April 22nd, 2013, the Presidents of The MasterCard Foundation, McGill University, University of British Columbia, and University of Toronto will be participating in a Roundtable discussion on Education Partnerships between Canada and Africa hosted by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. For more information on this event, please visit: http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=15039&lan=eng.

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Heather Amos
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.3213
Cell: 604.828.3867
Email: heather.amos@ubc.ca

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Aisha Kigongo is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar studying at University of California, Berkeley. Credit: Jan Flatley-Feldman, The Daily Californian

Aisha Kigongo is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar studying at University of California, Berkeley. Credit: Jan Flatley-Feldman, The Daily Californian

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